Grate 3/4 of the the coconut and extract coconut milk - 1/2 C first extraction, 1 1/2 C second and third extractions. See notes if using canned milk.
Heat in a heavy bottom pan or in a pressure cooker. Add the Parippu (mung dal) and dry roast for a few minutes until it changes color and gives off a nice roasted aroma. Add enough water to the thin coconut milk to make up 3 cups. Pour this over the roasted parippu , cover with a lid and cook till done. In a pressure cooker cook for 1 whistle.
While the dal is cooking, crush the jaggery. Put it in a thick bottomed pan along with 1/4 C water. Heat over low heat and let the jaggery melt and begin to caramelize (avoid this step if lighter colored pradhaman is desired or if the jaggery is already dark colored). Add about 1/2 c water to the melted jaggery and stir well. Heat over medium heat until the jaggery is dissolved completely. If needed add more water. Turn off the heat strain and keep warm.
Add half of the jaggery liquid to the cooked parippu along with the second extraction of coconut milk. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in between to keep the pradhaman from sticking to the bottom .
Taste and add as much more of the remaining jaggery liquid as per your taste. Add more water if the pradhaman seems thick. Simmer for a few more minutes, until the pradhaman has reached desired consistency.
Take a mortar and pestle and crush the cumin, dry ginger and cardamom to coarse powder.
Add the thick coconut milk, mix well and turn off the heat . Do not boil the pradhaman. Add the spice mix to the pradhaman and let rest for a few minutes. Pradhaman tends to thicken a little as it rests.
Heat Ghee in a kadai or small frying pan. Fry cashew nuts till browned evenly. Drain and reserve. Repeat the process with raisins and coconut pieces. Reserve a little of the fried pieces for garish and add the rest to the pradhaman. Mix well and rest for 30 minutes.
When ready to serve , transfer to serving containers and garnish with the remaining fried bits.
If using canned milk - use full fat variety.
If using canned milk use the cream settled on top as follows - thin 1 Tbsp coconut cream with 1C water and use as the 3rd extraction coconut milk. Thin 2 to 3 tbsp coconut cream with 1C water for 2nd extraction coconut milk. Finally use the cream as thick coconut milk.
Adjust spices to your taste, the ginger and cumin are traditionally added to help with digestion.
For vegan version use coconut oil, though traditionally ghee is used.
When Jaggery is not available use a mix of brown sugar and molasses. Sweeten as needed with brown sugar and add about 1 Tbsp of molasses for the recipe above.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/parippu-pradhaman/ .